Welcome To The Religion Network!
WELCOME! I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing daily inspiration, quotes and religious resources. Faith and religion are precious gifts that bless.
However you worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. Let us meet regularly and build
a spiritual network. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
In This Moment
I know not where my life is headed.
If I'll be alive, alone, or well-wedded.
With all my faith,
I'll trust in the Lord
to supply my life,
my room and my board.
A word or two about today's featured poet:
Joan Noëldechen is a poet, novelist, children's book author,
screenwriter, and a product of what Pat Conroy calls the New South.
Born on Long Island and raised in North Florida at the start of the
development boom of the Seventies, Joan exposed her mind to dual
cultures. The stark realities left a lasting impression on her. She
began keeping diaries and writing poetry in secret. Joan evolved
into a graft of a northern spirit and a southern soul. "The South
is the place I most like to write about and the place I like to
call home. My poetry and fiction reflect the New South in all its
exquisite, quirky moods. And so do the women I write about."
Interview with poet Joan Noeldechen:
Lisa: Joan, you have been called an intuitive and your poetry
obviously stems from a mystical place. How do you define the
Joan: Whenever I write or create, I come from the deepest part
of myself and allow the words to flow through me. If I am
writing a story, screenplay, or play, the characters speak to
me and I share my life experiences with the reader or audience.
Rewrites are essential and it is not uncommon for me to do so.
My poetry, on the other hand, is organic and healing. If I am
composing for a specific person or purpose, the words come
through me and I can pen them or type them very quickly. I also
go into a logical mode when I am editing my work. Intuition
determines what I write and how I write. I know what to do
because I have learned to listen and act upon the directive.
I also approach healing in this manner.
Lisa: Does the evocative nature of poetry help create a more direct connection to the realm of the spiritual?
Joan: I believe that poets, like lyricists, tap into a pure understanding of what it is to be involved in the experience
of living. It is expression, just as music is or painting is
or performing is...a fluid connection to the divine.
began a journey
he tenderly continues.
She lives in
her beloved creations,
protecting and guiding them
she still is,
Lisa: When you write your poetry, are you more writing to
God or is He writing to you? Or do you find the phenomenon
can go either way?
Joan: It can go either way. I can only speak for myself when
I say that He is writing through me 99% of the time. All my
solo books have contained "for Spirit" in the dedication. When
I was very young I fell in love with poetry but never thought
of myself as a poet because I didn't write in meter or rhyme.
It wasn't until I began to read Carl Sandburg, Alice Walker,
Rita Dove, and Amy Lowell did I dare to allow myself to open
up enough to write poetry and then I scribbled them in my
journals or in the margins of books.
Lisa: What does inspiration feel like for you? How does the
process happen in your life?
Joan: I get very excited, with a wild child-like enthusiasm.
Sometimes I dream of creating a work. Several projects are
always going on at once. Often I have to take a walk in the
woods to clear the energy. (continued below)
In the empty temple,
I play music
for no one
Lisa: Why do you think some people feel that poetry is beyond
their ken, too intellectual for them to understand?
Joan: There is a real fear for a lot of people that they
cannot grasp the meaning in a poem or that it is boring
or not practical. The truth is poetry is accessible and
nourishing to everyone. I can read a Psalm of David or a
poem by Queen Elizabeth I or an unknown jazz lyricist from
New Orleans or Cole Porter and relate to the truth and
emotions of all they are conveying.
Lisa: You've recently come through a very tough physical illness.
How has the experience affected the role of faith in your life?
Joan: I am still not through my illness and have a long way
to go, but my faith has been strengthened by the experience.
I have lost everything a person can lose: a relationship, a
home, savings, a car, health and independence. My father has
been my caretaker and only support. I refused to lose my
faith because I always believe God has a purpose behind
everything and the miracles in my life have shown up along
the way. It has made me a sharper intuitive, a better healer
and a sounder writer. If I have not walked through the fire,
how can I truly help anyone else? How can I empathize or
have compassion if I haven't known suffering or loss? I can
never live a surface life again. I've had three operations in
three years and I'm going to be okay and still hold a job. One
of my goals, when I can do so, would be to help others who
wiped out by a catastrophic illness...I remember being operated
on when the surgeons thought I had thyroid cancer. It was touch
and go. I truly believe people's prayers and one man's kind
letter reversed the outcome of a positive cancer biopsy...
My latest surgeon, who is in fact a spiritual warrior,
called me a miracle.
Gratitude. Yes, Lord.
And now the Last Word:
Lisa: Is there one poem that you've written that best sums up your relationship to God?
I fell from heaven
to the earth,
landing in a solitary field.
God did not lose sight of me,
nor did he leave
my broken spirit
to waste away
in the glory of the day.
He picked me up
and lifted us
all in the span
of a single breath.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies;
probably because they are generally the same people.
G. K. Chesterton
On today's site:
-"In This Moment"
-Interview with Joan Noeldechen, part one
-Interview, part two
-Interview, part three